Monday, December 10, 2012

The Curse of Redbeard Strikes Again!

You'd think that I'd have learned by now.

I start a toon, and that toon's class and/or spec gets nerfed.

It happened with Ret (although it took Cata dropping for it to finally get there).  It happened with Frost (again, Cata's release was the kicker).  It happened with Locks, too.

And now it's happened with Rogues.

You don't notice that Rogues got nerfed a bit in Mists until you get higher up in level, around the 30s.  That's when a lot of other toons start to get new abilities.  Or their existing abilities take a big leap in utility.

Like, say, those damn Wild Imps.

Back in my day, when I leveled Adelwulf, we didn't have no stinking Wild Imps.  We Warlocks took our lumps from every other class, and we LIKED it!  And we walked to school barefoot, too!  Uphill!  Both ways!!

It's more than a bit disconcerting that in the L30s BGs you can suddenly find yourself fighting 4-5 on 1 due to those Wild Imps.  Couple that with some improved AI on the succubus and the Lock is no longer the butt end of the BG spectrum like it was in Cata.  In fact, if you put two Demonology Locks together and add one healer, you can pin an entire bunch of people down at the entrance in Arathi Basin.

A Rogue's ability is designed for maximum damage close in, sacrificing armor for speed.  If the Rogue fails to kill the enemy quickly, then they're a sitting duck.  In the L30s in Mists, what ends up happening is that those other classes take a big leap forward in survivability, whereas the Rogue's corresponding damage output levels off.  This results in the Rogue being unable to pick on even the stragglers in a BG if they're of comparable level to the Rogue.

And you can forget about a healer.  A Rogue simply doesn't have enough stuns to take out a healer of comparable level in the L30s.


From where I stand watching BGs in the mid-30s, the Feral Druid still rules the roost.  The Disco Priest has fallen back a bit, and has been replaced by the Mistweaver Monk and Demonology Warlock.  Warriors have gotten their mojo back a bit, and two warriors together can handle a group of 4-5 DPS.  What I've found surprising is that Frost Mages have made a comeback of sorts.  Back in Cata you had Fire and Arcane making inroads into BGs based upon their higher damage output, but it seems that in Mists that Frost has reasserted itself as the Mage PvP spec once more.  As a (retired) Frost Mage player, it's nice to see the spec doing well.  As a (current) Rogue player, however, they're harder to take down than before.

Paladins seem to have made a bit of a recovery from their easy pickings of the L20s, but they still trail Warriors in survivability.  Ret still has the aftereffect from Cata's overhaul; the lack of decent emergency healing seems to hamper Ret more than anything else.  Being a (retired) Ret player, I've noticed that the major Paladin failing in L30s Mists has nothing to do with the class, but with the player type.  Pallies are more prone to charging in alone than any other class, save perhaps the Warrior, but without the Warrior's survivability.  I call it the Sir Lancelot Syndrome*, which is an offshoot of how Pallies can simply plow through mobs in most other circumstances.  It feeds a belief in invincibility, and encourages the "Follow me!  Chaaaarge!" sort of behavior.

I was guilty of SLS as much as anyone else.  I'm sure the gleaming armor and "Servant of the Light" didn't help, but I knew that even the Holy Spec wasn't as squishy as most classes, so it only made sense to wade into the thick of the fight.  Additionally, in a game like AB where one player can gum up the works and divert 4-5 people away from trying to take another base, it's only natural that a class that can take a beating would be the one to storm the beachhead.  In my hubris, I also figured that if I led by example, others would follow.  Naturally, a few years of playing BGs has beaten that idea out of me, but I still backslide from time to time.


Warsong Gulch is one of those BGs where your opinion of it is entirely shaped upon how well your side does in it.  You can top the meters day after day, but if your side doesn't win, you start to get bitter.**  I recognized that in myself in the most recent losing streak I've been in, as it was an echo of my time leveling Adelwulf.  There was this long period from L20 through L40 where my Lock could count on one paw the number of victories in WSG.  My Rogue found the BG much better --winning about half of the time will do that to a person-- but this current losing streak can wear on a psyche.

When you port in and you see half of the other side is a healer of some sort, you know you're in trouble.  The backbiting starts before even the first flag is captured, and the cries of "we ALWAYS suck!" fill the air.  Players drop like flies, and people who replace them look around, declare "What a fail group!" and drop themselves.

It's enough to make a body back up, go out into a zone, and work on a gathering skill for a while.

Or maybe visit the Darkmoon Faire.

But WSG is still lurking there, like Lucy and her football, hoping to get the Charlie Brown of BG players back in for another go.  "Surely it can't be that bad," you say to yourself.

"Yes it can," the pessimistic side of you retorts, "and don't call me Shirley."

"But maybe it's different this time."

"You said that the last time.  And the time before that.  And...."

"You know, when you talk to yourself, that's when you realize you're a bit off your rocker."

"So you're coming around to my way of thinking.  Good job!"

Maybe I ought to give WSG another try.  This streak has got to end sometime.  After all, even Manchester City won the Premier League last year.

*SLS makes a catchy acronym, you know.

**And your XP moves forward at a snail's pace.


  1. I'm still waiting for you to try TOR's warzones. ;)

    1. I'll get around to it. Hopefully sometime this month. I've settled into having finished Chapter One on my Commando, and I'm now working on getting my Sentinel through Chapter One.

    2. I'm just really curious how you'll like the unified levelling bracket with its bolstering system, considering that when it comes to WoW PvP, you talk a lot about different brackets and class imbalances along the levelling curve.

    3. I'm going to have to try it out.

      Blizz makes a point of fine tuning the endgame, but that often has unintentional ripples in the lower level BGs. If Bioware has figured out a way to even things out, that'd be good.

      I've read a few bloggers who simply didn't like TOR PvP because all the classes have the same sort of debuffs and special attacks. But I've always wondered why they complain, since WoW has often the same thing, only with different light effects.